How Much Milk Does A One-Year-Old Need?
New born babies up to the early months of their lives depend on milk for their health and nutrition. Whether it is in the form of breast or formula milk, it is their main food and the main source of vitamins and important nutrients.
It provides Vitamin D, calcium and dietary fats needed for the brain development and growth. However, once they approach the toddler stage which is 1-year old, their milk will play a different role as they move forward to a more solid diet. So, how much milk for one-year-old is recommended?
How Much Milk
According to The Academy of Pediatrics, a toddler only needs two to three 8 oz. cup of milk daily to achieve a healthy level of iron and Vitamin D. While it is a nutritious beverage, drinking too much milk might cause the children to become picky eaters and refuse to eat other foods. This could lead to iron deficiency.
Take note that as early as six months old, it is vital to introduce new flavors and textures to children to set their food preferences and to introduce them to an omnivorous diet. It will help them develop a taste for foods like meat, vegetables, and fruits.
If serving them meals, offer more water and other snacks too. A one-year-old child can drink two cups of breast milk or whole milk. As he or she turns two, switch to skim milk which has fewer calories but with same nutrition.
A toddler can drink up to 20 oz a day but, they should be eating well. Most parents that we know are struggling with their children becoming dependent on milk as their daily food. Remember, they should only consume milk two to three times a day.
Also, limit their intake of sweetened beverages to only 6 ounces and incorporate at least three of the four food groups to their meal. But watch for allergic reactions since children are at higher risk for food allergies.
Make Mealtime Effective
Expect your toddler to explore and continue to discover food through self-feeding. Allow them to practice such skills by using their fingers first, then teach them how to use utensils and let them take control over food choices.
Make sure to limit cakes, chocolates and other snacks with empty calories. Let them become independent at the dining table but it's you who will decide on the variety of foods to offer.
Foods that can cause choking like grapes, popcorn, raw veggies, raisin, nuts and hard candies should be avoided. Always supervise your child when eating as they tend to eat whatever that seems appealing to them.
Likewise, some kids don't like the taste of cow's milk since it has a different taste from formula and breast milk. It is okay to mix them first then slowly adjust the ratio until it becomes a 100% cow's milk.
But if your child is purely breastfeed, there is no need to incorporate cow’s milk as long as she is nursing at least 3-4 times daily. Your baby is already getting the best milk and that is breast milk so don’t worry about giving them other source to get additional fat.
It offers higher fat content which is need for brain growth and provides more nutrients compared to a cow’s milk. After the age of two, your pediatrician might recommend your baby to switch to a nonfat milk.
We understand that the whole transition is quite challenging especially between the age of 12 to 18 months. So, instead of cutting out the bottles, gradually eliminate them to your child’s feeding schedule. Use a normal cup and give them one cup of whole milk during mealtime.
The transition phase is also the perfect time for them to improve their motor skills, teach them to appreciate food tastes and introduce table behavior.
A Whole New World of Food
As parents, it is normal that we feel worried that our child is not getting the right amount of nutrients. But remember, they can get adequate nutrition from solid foods than liquid alone as they are growing bigger and stronger each day. Milk cannot cover all the bases and cannot replace solid foods.
Once they become a toddler, gradually wean them so they won’t rely on milk feeds. A good diet is always composed of a variety of healthy foods and these foods should be given to your toddlers as early as one year old.